lets discuss the mid-west.

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    May 12, 2008 4:20 PM GMT
    ok, several ideas bundled up into this forum, lets see if it gets off the ground, shall we? for the record, im not whining- just looking for constructive comments and practical advice/shared experience.

    first off, i'd like to address the frustration of being attracted to 'straight-acting' guys- the kind you can't tell are gay- but not being able to meet any because of that very fact. i don't like clubs, or the gay 'scene,' and even if i did enjoy clubs i wouldn't be looking to find a worthwhile guy there... (not to say they don't exist there, but come on- everyone just wants promiscuous sex and drama in a club). i find i'm left finding the kinds of guys i'm attracted to online, and they always live states or whole countries away from me (look at my profile to see what i idealize in a guy- i think its all reasonable, but aside from being masculine and fit and intelligent, sanity and certain other things are absolutely necessary, and woefully rare to find in one person). there has to be an easier, more practical way to find these guys in my vicinity. i realize most of them probably aren't online anyways. where to meet them? how to know it when you do? ideas?

    point of discussion number two: where are the attractive gay men in Ohio? let alone in this stink hole, Cincinnati? they're not online, from what i can tell- do a search for any city/state on any profile site and you'll get tons of appealing hits... but Cincinnati and even the state of Ohio yield nothing. few hits- and fewer who are remotely attractive- none i've found yet worth pursuing. there are lots of attractive straight men here.... perhaps all the good gay men are so closeted in this conservative area that you'd never notice them? if so, am i condemned by my choice of college to have to wait for graduation before i can find a datable guy, upon moving somewhere more cultured?

    speak amongst yourselves.
  • vindog

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    May 12, 2008 6:10 PM GMT
    Being originally from Cincy and only attracted to very masculine guys, I can relate.

    I didn't really come out until after I left the 'Nati, so I can't give you any advice on "where to go." Louisville (only 1.5 hours away) has a significantly more active gay population (my parents live there now).

    Yes, there are lots of attractive gay men in Ohio...and one in particular there in Cincy. He goes by Runinthecity


    haha.

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    May 12, 2008 6:11 PM GMT
    hm, perhaps this is only of interest to me, and myself.... thus illustrating the point i guess... there are no gay jocks in this state lol or they've all found each other and paired up, leaving me by myself :p
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    May 12, 2008 7:08 PM GMT
    I've felt sort of similar lately.

    I'm in the midwest (Michigan) and have been having a hard time finding fit, attractive (physically/mentally), single and (eventually) relationship oriented guys in the area. Part of it age for me - there are a lot less single guys at 42 than there was when I was 24 and in addition, by 42, a lot of guys have given up on taking care of themselves. And while I live in a pretty liberal place (Ann Arbor, UofMich), it's not very big and the options are limited.

    I also seem to keep finding (or being found) by potentially great guys who are 500, 1000, 2000 or more miles away. Sometimes I think that, in part, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and it's easy to see just what you want to in someone who, other than a profile and some pics, you're not likely to meet in person.

    On the "where to meet guys" Q, I have little advice to offer. Both online and "bars" have problems. In general, I think it's incredibly difficult to meet someone at a bar (well, it is for me) and while I have had fun at bars/clubs, it's only because I'm with friends to socialize -- not pickup/meet guys. When I've gone by myself, it's usually a pretty unfun time.

    Online casts a wider net, but of course guys who may be exactly what you are looking for may not be online (and if they are -- where? There are about a dozen various gay-oriented dating sites). There is also a lot of "noise" -- folks winking and contacting you who are really way out of your interest zone (geographically, personality-wise, physically, etc) or just looking for penpals (which is fine, in principle, but I have plenty of friends already, really) so you are wading though a lot of chaf there too.

    Ironically, I've been approached by a number of pretty amazing guys who live in places like SF, NYC and Ft Lauderdale. I usually ask them how come they can't find someone when they live in such a large place with large gay populations and the answer is usually something about there being so many gay guys, they all just want to hookup and none are interested in relationships. In my mind, there is nothing wrong with the hookup if that is what you want, but I think it's interesting that they seem to have a variation of the same problem in very "target rich" environments :-)

    So, not a lot of insight really or suggestions, but I don't think it's an uncommon problem. Gotta just keep trying all options (that's what I tell myself :-)

    Gerry
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    May 12, 2008 7:47 PM GMT
    yeah, all true
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    May 12, 2008 7:56 PM GMT
    In all seriousness just be out and a known gay. Don't flaunt it, but just be known as a "queer."

    When out in social settings those hidden str8 acting gay men tend to seek you out. I figure it to be a matter of those hidden gays are just as interested in seeking out other guys. Except they don't go to gay clubs or hang out on websites. So they just keep a lookup when out among friends. If your someone from their social world then your all the more likely to be considered.

    As for Ohio? Idn, never been so I can't comment. I kinda do envy you people since you have E85 stations.
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    May 12, 2008 8:30 PM GMT
    Well, in Cincinnati, a big part of the gay population remains deeply closeted. This is a conservative, Catholic, extended-family-all-up-in-your-business sort of town. I'm out, comfortable in my skin and personality, but know I have to be careful when venturing certain places.

    The 'straight-acting' men - although if you're acting, you're clearly not straight (proper term here being masculine demonstrative or male normative) - are often not out, have girlfriends or are married, and often frequent all the local gyms to engage or solicit sexual action. They're acting because they're hiding. The craigslist m4m ads for Cincinnati are a funny read for all the gym hookups of str8 and bi guys looking to get off. Hell, one of my ex bfs whose quite taken up with 'masc' guys is a regular cocksucker at the gym down the street from my apartment building.

    While I dislike the whole 'straight-acting' mindset - those who engage in the acting and those who seek out those types - I understand the discomfort many gay men have with effeminate men. It's part of the larger culture's disdain for all things feminine. It's gay misogyny. It's also fear of guilt by association - if you're seen with a fairy, everyone will think you're a fairy too. Such as when said ex who likes to work pipes at the gym swears all up and down that he needs masculine guys and that he is very masculine, etc. But really he was/is a big ole power bottom make up wearing super queen and it only took one Britney song to have him whipping it like a pole girl. Which was fine. I liked him in spite of his try-to-hard contradictions.

    Anyway.

    All that said, I've never had problems meeting all and any types of gay men in Cincinnati. You just have to be unafraid, confident without being cocky, mildly nice and most importantly visible - go to the bars or clubs on occasion, use the internet, smile and nod at Starbucks, say Hello, make chit chat at Kroger, Fresh Market, Whole Foods, wherever - the gays eat too! Join a civic organization. Join an sports league if there's a particular sport you like. Volunteer with Equality Cincinnati or the local HRC chapter. There are gay men everywhere in Cincinnati. I've lived here long enough to discover that as fact. Plenty of them are just men with jobs, interests, social circles, etc. As always in meeting people for friendship, dating or whatever, it's all about timing, opportunity and chance coming together.

    Throughout this...process - not sure what else to call it - personally I don't try to put on any airs about being 'butch.' I'm a guy, I wear a lot of tshirts and sweats, I run, I keep up with my fitness, I like to play baseball, volleyball, and tennis when I can, blah blah, but I'm not trying to pretend I'm all into the Bengals or tossing cornhole (a local beanbag game) in order to fit in to local manly stereotypes. I'm not ashamed to get a little gay (italicized to emphasize the stigma we're talking about here) - for example, my love for all things Madonna. None of us should be. It's part of us. We can't change it. We can only shape it in a way that it fits us best and thus permits us to sleep most soundly at night.

    Best advice I can give: Be comfortable in your own skin, being the person - the man - you want to be. If that is good - in the quasi-moral, existential sense - it will attract accordingly. Some bad guys with the good guys, as nothing comes easy or free.

    I'm going to go rest my fingers now.

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    May 12, 2008 8:35 PM GMT
    I completely hear ya and understand on the glorious midwest and being gay! Particularly being gay but not over the top....just wanting a masculine and athletic guy. Who like guys. Haha.

    I graduated in Indianapolis last year and had an absolute blast between my fraternity, theatre, and college in general. But it wasn't until studying abroad and taking a job in London after graduation that I found readily available, masculine, normal gay guys. For both a few-time hookups that were fun and simple and great.....as well as great relationships.

    It's rough. I think I almost went nuts mid-way through school having no outlet for dating or a relationship. And of course being regulated to my right hand.

    I second that on what to do---be out and open, but also chill, genuine, and known as not being a flaming queen.

    I'm definitely attracted to straight-acting guys as well, and know what you mean. I actually found a world of 'em on a football (soccer) team in London, and they're like my family now. Maybe a gay sport league in Cincy? There's not much in Indy either---it sucks. There's about a dozen in London, rather frustratingly.

    But also during college, there was one incredible experience where even a 99% straight guy approached me---and I never would've seen it coming. But it was hot. ;) That's completely random and shouldn't be expected....but you just have to be out, outgoing, and secure in a good environment for life to let things happen.
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    May 12, 2008 8:42 PM GMT
    aagerry said
    Ironically, I've been approached by a number of pretty amazing guys who live in places like SF, NYC and Ft Lauderdale. I usually ask them how come they can't find someone when they live in such a large place with large gay populations and the answer is usually something about there being so many gay guys, they all just want to hookup and none are interested in relationships. In my mind, there is nothing wrong with the hookup if that is what you want, but I think it's interesting that they seem to have a variation of the same problem in very "target rich" environments :-)


    Well isn't it easier to be honest and reveal yourself emotionally to someone who's 500, 1000, or 2000 miles away? There's little worry of 'real' rejection - you're not likely to ever even meet this person! The object online is all hunky photos - carefully chosen for maximum impact - and well placed words. The entire 'relationship' is in his/her own mind - the safest place on earth for a heart. Toss in a few emails and additional photos and it's a match made in the cyber heaven of perfect matches...until you leap on a plane and meet and it fizzles like a wet sparkler.

    I'll seldom complain about 'no good men here' - there are good men everywhere. You just have to be willing to encounter them and take a risk on what happens after that.

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    May 12, 2008 8:45 PM GMT
    BSoccerguy said
    But also during college, there was one incredible experience where even a 99% straight guy approached me---and I never would've seen it coming. But it was hot. ;) That's completely random and shouldn't be expected....but you just have to be out, outgoing, and secure in a good environment for life to let things happen.


    Now, I'm not picking on you by pointing this out...but he isn't 99% straight if he's having sex with another man. Therein lies the baseline psychological problem with the whole straight acting paradigm. It, like the larger hetero culture, assumes that anything gay is by default bad. Which is a toxic way to think about oneself in relation to sexuality, which is not personality. Gay men really need to learn to separate the two. Sexuality is not personality.
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    May 12, 2008 9:05 PM GMT
    Columbus seems to have it's share of attractive men. Unfortunatly many of them seem to be Ambercrombe clones (like everywhere else). Dispite that, Columbus seems to be a bright spot for Ohio. I was never a bar type person, so meeting new people usually happened by accident at the gym or grocery store of all places.
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    May 12, 2008 9:06 PM GMT
    A very interesting thread.

    Since I came out at 18, I have lived in metropolitan areas with significant gay populations on the east coast and west coast. Czaro, my advice is to avoid generalizing about bars and match.com-type online services.

    I don't drink, but here in Mexico City, I go to a club near my apartment when I am looking for intimacy because there are few other venues, especially given the liklihood of misreading culturally-imbued signals. The place doesn't get going until later than in the U.S., which is a pain, but I do it anyway every five months or so with the sole purpose of finding someone. That doesn't mean, I have to find someone. It means creating an opportunity for the city/cosmos to provide. I am pretty patient.

    I've even gone to bathhouses looking for dates, which may be stupid, but if I'm that stupid, there is likely to be someone else just as "stupid."

    Bottom line, the notion that if I go to a place, someone I would like to meet could go there, too, has worked for me.

    Finally, IMHO, "straight-acting" describes a type of guy a person might be attracted to. I, too, am attracted to guys who could, more or less, "pass." With age, however, I also know I have more in common with someone who is similarly sexually "balanced."

    So, I really like guys with a masculine/male exterior, and an androgynous interior.

    Charlie

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    May 12, 2008 9:20 PM GMT
    czarodziej saidhm, perhaps this is only of interest to me, and myself.... thus illustrating the point i guess... there are no gay jocks in this state lol or they've all found each other and paired up, leaving me by myself :p


    http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/392388931.html

    To the gay men who complain about the lack of quality men...
    Date: 2007-08-08, 1:18PM PDT


    I am a gay guy. I'll get that out of the way first. Grossed out by the boobs, turned on by the cock. It's a fact of life for me and there ain't no changin' it. I accepted it many years ago and life has been great ever since. I will also say here that I am a “quality guy”. I have a career that I have absolutely loved for the past 13 years, I have a wonderful long term partner of over 10 years, a wonderful daughter, vital relationships with supportive friends and family, lots of fun interests and hobbies, I volunteer and give back to my community. Oh yeah…and I know how to have fun in the sack to boot, AND I have been faithful to my other half for the whole time we’ve been together (and he to me). Go ahead and trash me for calling myself quality, but I know I am. I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means. I have my faults like anyone else, but I’m reasonably sure that I would be perceived as quality by most people.

    OK...so now my point. I am amazed at the number of postings from gay men on this site who are complaining about the lack of "normal", non-racist, attractive, monogamous, non-druggie men out there. It truly is incredible to me. It makes me wonder if we are living in the same place!

    If you scroll down a ways on this Rants and Raves list today, you'll see a posting from a gay Asian guy who laments the fact that the gay community is totally focused around white gays. I totally agree. But I had to laugh at his posting as he went on to say that he meets guys at clubs and online. THAT’S what he is judging the gay community by? How lame is that? Does he see Asian guys throwing themselves at White guys at book club meetings and running clubs? I’m guessing not. Post after post I read gay guys complaining about the lack of quality gay men out there and almost all of them talk about some creepy online experience or a bad scene at some bar or club.

    To all you gay men who are complaining…do you realize there is more to life than meeting guys in bars and online? My God...you live in one of the major hubs of culture, academia, sports, you name it, and you're trolling for quality guys on the Internet or at Badlands?

    Do you all know that getting your dick sucked or getting banged is not the center of your existence? Sure it’s fun and I’d never turn down an opportunity for either, but there is so much more to life than just being defined by being attracted to a penis. Make yourself more well-rounded than that. Quality guys can sniff you out in a second if you’re just horny. What more do you have to offer after you’ve both cum?

    For all of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here are 10 suggestions for how to find that quality guy. They are all based on common sense, but I have found them to work well for me:

    1. Do you have a hobby or interest other than sucking cock or getting fucked? If you do, then join a club/group/social group around that interest or hobby. It doesn't have to be a gay club. Just join a club or group. You will meet people there who like the same thing you do. You will be yourself there (and not some phony posing at a bar or hiding behind a screen name) because you will be in a place where you actually enjoy what's going on. Do you enjoy spending hours on the Internet trying to find a hook-up? I’m guessing not. The hooking up is fun, but not the endless searching. If you join a group you won't meet a one night stand or boyfriend there most likely (although it could happen, huh?), but you will meet other people who know other people who know other people. It's like that lame MySpace site although in actual real life! Amazing, huh? Who knows? Maybe one of those people will invite you to a party and introduce you to the man of your dreams. And chances are that he will be a quality guy because the people who accepted you into their club or group or going to hold everyone else up to the same standards, whatever they are.

    2. Go out and give back to others. Instead of trolling around the Castro or Gay.com, get off your ass and volunteer somewhere. Project Open Hand, Stop Aids, Equality California --- they all could use volunteers and are positively TEEMING with gay men who are all united behind a common purpose. Are those causes too "gay" for you? Then volunteer at St. Anthony’s Dining Room or Glide Memorial. Too religious for you? Then go do a Google search online for other volunteer opportunities. Help out at the Humane Society, be a mentor for a young person, go read stories to the local kindergarteners in your neighborhood. When you volunteer, you will meet other people who are selfless and who enjoy helping others (i.e. those “quality” people you are looking for). Quality guys appreciate someone who understands that life is not all about you. It’s also in part about helping others and learning about other people. If you don’t like to do either of those things, then I suggest you look inside yourself to see why not. You’re not a quality guy if you do not have this aspect of your personality.

    3. Go out and get some exercise. No…I don’t mean go to a gym in the Castro and cruise the steam rooms for sex. Set a goal for yourself. Tell yourself you will spend a year training for a marathon (or a 5K, or a half marathon, or 3 miles) and then run it. Train for the AIDS Ride and then do it. Go for a run in another part of the City from where you live. Get out of your rut. Join a running club. There are lots in San Francisco and all over the Bay Area. It doesn’t have to be one of the gay running clubs, by the way. Remember, you’re not living your life around the sole idea that you are gay. Change your mindset that you are a runner, or a cyclist, or a weightlifter, or whatever. People who say they “hate exercise” come off as not quality. If you hate to run, find something you do like – dance, rowing, swimming? You do not have to be a porno god with bulging biceps and perfect pecs. Quality guys appreciate someone who takes the time to take care of their body in any way. This doesn’t mean hit the gym 7 days a week. It doesn’t mean you are 6’2”, 190 with a tapered waist. It means get some exercise, eat well, go to the dentist regularly. Show some pride in yourself by taking care of yourself.

    4. Do you have a job? Do you actually like it? Or do you spend all your time whining and moping about it? A quality guy wants a guy who is doing something with his life that has goals and seems rewarding and/or fulfilling. You don’t have to make lots of money to be fulfilled by the way. Have you ever bumped into someone who LOVES their job and just kind of felt awestruck by them? Be that person. Or if life has dealt you a hand where you have to stay in a job you hate, then make the most of it. No one wants to hear about how much your job sucks. Sure we all have bad days, but if you don’t seem like you have made good choices in your life around the one thing you spend most of your day doing, how do you expect to attract anyone who will think you are quality too? If you have a professional job, join a professional group. Go to conferences. Give a seminar. Again, you don’t have to join a gay professional group. Just get your name and face out there. If you hate your job, find ways to change it instead of moping to everyone about it. Your complaining will be a total turn-off to a quality guy.

    5. Do you have an education? Quality guys consider most guys with no college diploma a bad catch. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. Right or wrong, people who went to college are perceived as having goals, striving for them, attaining them
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    May 12, 2008 9:22 PM GMT
    While this may not apply completely to your Cincinnati situation, just go do stuff. You'll meet people, trust me you will.

    Also, if you complain about the lack of a jock-culture in Cincinnati, start a league, or something that jocks would go to.
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    May 12, 2008 9:24 PM GMT
    http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/392388931.html

    continued...

    5. Do you have an education? Quality guys consider most guys with no college diploma a bad catch. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. Right or wrong, people who went to college are perceived as having goals, striving for them, attaining them, and planning for their futures. If you haven’t gotten a degree yet, what’s stopping you? There are scholarships, loans, grants – so much money out there waiting for you to spend it on your future. But you have to do the legwork. It sucks…I know. It’s a lot of stress, time, and energy. But at the end of it, you will feel proud that you accomplished something for yourself, you will be better educated, and you will be more attractive to the quality guy. There are so many schools in the Bay Area – everything from cooking schools, to art schools, to universities, to massage schools, to you name it. Go back to school and start doing what you love or what you’ve always wanted to do. Start small. Don’t think you’re going to get into the Stanford M.B.A. program if you’re not qualified to be there. Take classes at the local community college at first, transfer up to a state or U.C. You have so many options open to you. Stop with the excuses for why you are not educated as much as you could be.

    6. Lay off the drugs. Quality guys don’t do them. They are too busy with their work lives, their social lives, their family lives, their volunteering, their cultural events, etc. Drugs are for lazy people with too much time on their hands. Choose to spend your time another way. If you meet a quality guy while you are high or drunk, what kind of person will he wake up to the next morning? Some of you post on here wondering why a guy never calls you back after the one night stand. Could it be that the guy he met in the bar last night sobered up and is now a boring dud who drones on about his work? Ditch the drugs and be yourself. If you are addicted, go get help. There are free programs all over. If you are reading this you have an Internet connection. Google programs and then get to work on getting clean and sober.

    7. Get over the fact that some guys just aren’t attracted to you. Here’s something a shrink told me many years ago while I was dealing with my own coming out issues: he said that as gay men, most of us never got the teenaged experience that many straight folks get. Many of us didn’t get asked out to prom or have a first kiss, or get drunk and screw the cheerleader at homecoming (extreme example, I know, but you get the drift). We missed out on a lot of the teenage “rites of passage”. Because we were still trying to figure ourselves out or because we were in the closet, all of the adolescent sexual stuff flew right past us without us even knowing. Now that we are out to ourselves, we are making up for lost time. There are many men who are stuck in this adolescent phase. They are petty like schoolgirls. They bitch, they judge people based on looks or clothes or how much money they make. They think the world revolves around them. It’s textbook. They are stuck in 7th grade. They are reliving the years that they couldn’t have while they were growing up shy, awkward, closeted, or “hate crimed”. They are being the “powerful” people they wish they could have been back in middle school. Be above that. Move on from that. You are going to meet guys who turn you down because your dick is too small or because you’re going bald or because you are a certain ethnicity. Get over it. You will never change what someone is attracted to. I like coffee, you like tea. It’s a preference. If you keep finding guys who judge you like this, then you are obviously looking in the wrong spots. You are only in places where these adolescent phase guys are – online and clubs. That’s where the superficial crowd usually hangs. There is safety in numbers or behind an anonymous screen name. I’m not saying everyone online or in a bar is a creep or freak, but I’m willing to bet you will find way more quality guys volunteering or in a running club than you will at the Midnight Sun or in the San Francisco M4M room on AOL.

    8. Broaden your horizons. Go take your lunch somewhere new. Get out of your neighborhood and see some place different on the weekend or whenever you are not working. Take a weekend trip alone (GASP! Alone?!) and sightsee somewhere new. My God, we live in an area where you can drive or take public transit to the mountains, the beach, the wine country, hiking trails, or the Bay all within hours of each other. Where else in the world can you do that? Can’t afford a trip? Take the bus to a different neighborhood or local city. Ask a local where a good place to eat is. Walk downtown. Go meet life! You will bump into all sorts of people. Most of them won’t be your next boyfriend, but you never know. Maybe their co-worker would be. Or their frat brother from college. You never know how things will work out.

    9. Read books, magazines (no, People and US Weekly don’t count -- although they ARE fun once in a while), newspapers, Web sites…anything you can get your hands on. It’s amazing how many people don’t read. Reading makes you a great conversationalist. Not reading means all you can talk about is what you know – yourself and your own life. This gets tedious for a quality guy. What was the last good book you read? What made it good? What kind of conversations can you start about our world that does not include an anecdote about yourself and your life? Are you interested in politics and next year’s presidential election? Have you read the new book by Armistead Maupin? Are you a sports fan and like chatting about the Giants and the Barry Bonds feat/controversy? Find something in this huge universe of ours to take an interest in and then READ READ READ about it. In my single days, I used to notice when I’d walk into a guy’s place what books (if any) he had out on display. Invariably, a place with no books out at all meant a non-quality guy who could only talk about himself. Books tell others who you are and what you find interesting, and they are great conversation starters everywhere. Can’t afford books? Go to the library. Browse bookstores. Maybe the guy standing next to you at the stack likes the same stuff you do.

    10. Go out and get some culture. We live in one of the hubs of culture on this planet. If you’re into art, go see the MOMA or the new De Young Museum. If you like dance, go see the ballet. Go see a Broadway show (I just saw “Avenue Q” last night – AWESOME!). No money? All of these places offer discounted tickets, student prices, and lots of other freebies. Check them out online. Go see the symphony or opera. Go see a loud metal concert. Go listen to the free music in the park. I was just in Dolores Park a few weeks ago listening to a free concert by the SF Symphony and that place was PACKED with quality guys. Tweakers and drunks tend to steer clear of culture because they know they are out of their element. If you can afford something more expensive, you will also be able to weed out the tweakers usually. Go get the Pink section from the SF Chronicle on Sundays. The whole thing is bursting with events, showings, performances, etc. to choose from. Yes, some are pricey, but many are free and easy to get to using public transit. People bitch and moan about MUNI and BART, but they will get you there. Go do something wacky and see something you’ve never done before. You might be surprised who you meet.

    So there are my 10 suggestions for attracting a quality guy. And if you tell me that you can’t do anything I have listed above, then you are not a quality guy yourself. You should look inside yourself to see what your priorities in life are and then go out and make them happen. No one will be attracted to you in the long term if you don’t have your own life squared away first. It’s cliché, but it’s true.

    I don’t pretend to have all of the answers in life. I h
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    May 12, 2008 9:26 PM GMT
    Ugh, still more...

    I don’t pretend to have all of the answers in life. I have my own issues that cause me grief just like anyone else does. I’m not saying I’m perfect and you’re not. I’m just responding to all of the guys out there who moan and groan and complain about the gay community and its lack of vitality and quality guys. This is not true, and I think that deep down you all know it. Hopefully you can use this as a kick start to go out and make something happen for yourself.

    Oh…and one last piece of advice…stay optimistic. I have been there. It sucks being single and wishing you had someone to share life with (if that is your goal – I know it’s not everyone’s). Look on the bright side. Laugh at the weird encounters you have and chalk them up to experience. It’s easy to get bitter with the dating life, I know. But the more bitter you get, the more the quality guys will run the other way when you finally meet one. So many guys on here say they are sick of “bitter queens”, but they don’t realize that their complaining makes them one of the same group. Guys who are bitter seem like they are “over” life and done. Be the guy who makes a new start instead.
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    May 12, 2008 11:46 PM GMT
    all good advice- its not easy for me to just go join groups and leagues or start my own, however, because i'm in one of the most demanding majors here at UC, work out every day, and am an active member in a fraternity here- i have little enough time to sleep. i agree that its important to be out and visible and publicly involved- sitting in front of a computer for hours is a waste, and clubs are (mostly) filled with the kind of guys who'll convincingly say anything to your face for a one night lay... and you'll never hear from them again. the best way is to be oneself, confident, sane, and open. however, this is no help in a city full of the closet cases described above- men who vehemently insist they're straight.... they just like to suck cock sometimes- decidedly NOT relationship material.

    i'm out to everyone, im not effeminate- comfortably fitting in with a fraternity, i'd say im pretty 'male-normative' lol. but the gay men on campus and in this city (around my age) who are likewise out and open are like this small community where everyone knows everyone else and they've all screwed each other- i've always held myself outside of that, and its drama, and once they realized in my freshman year that their fresh meat wasn't going to put out, they all left me alone. the gay friends i thought i had, upon realizing that they weren't getting in my pants, stopped calling to hang out. i WANT what has been mentioned- chance meetings in a serious gym, or at a grocery store, or a book store ;) but i have a personal code i live by wherein i don't hit on guys i am pretty sure are straight- i don't like to make people uncomfortable, and i think it endorses straight guy's ignorantly bred fears about gay men- that we'll jump anything with xy chromosomes (partially based on truth, in some cases- i, for one, am pickier than anyone i know perhaps). its how i've gotten by in a fraternity, and in life among straight men. winningeleven, i agree with all you've said- you're the kind of guy i consider myself to be, and hope to find one day- intelligent, driven, a bright future ahead, doing something well loved, sane, fit, active, etc...... figures you'd be taken in the kind of long term relationship i crave and can't find lol. not to sound fatalistic or overly negative- but with each failure and disappointment, i am led closer to thinking i really won't find anyone of the caliber i seek- who isn't already happily taken that is lol. it only strengthens my stubborn determination and idealism though, really. im constantly torn between the two. to the point that was made earlier about gay men whining about the lack of quality guys- its true, its not whining. and if you were lucky enough to win the relationship lottery and chance upon a good man, power to you, but your view is a bit of an outlier in the scheme of things. i know quality men exist because i am one- i just feel like one of the last of my kind sometimes, or like there's a no-mans-zone around me for 100 miles in every direction at all times lol.

    that said, i guess i'll just have to wait and see what happens. Bsoccerguy's comment about being driven almost mad in college by his lack of an outlet for love/relationships is familiar to me- frustratingly so. i have friends who happened to meet their 'someone,' and who have been dating them for years. i know it can happen... i donno, i guess i just have to resist being jaded.
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    May 12, 2008 11:58 PM GMT
    czarodziej said and clubs are (mostly) filled with the kind of guys who'll convincingly say anything to your face for a one night lay... and you'll never hear from them again.


    Hence, we have the word No. Don't let rotten apples stop you from engaging/enjoying in what little social scene there is here.


    czarodziej saidbut i have a personal code i live by wherein i don't hit on guys i am pretty sure are straight- i don't like to make people uncomfortable, and i think it endorses straight guy's ignorance bred fears about gay men- that we'll jump anything with xy chromosomes (partially based on truth, in some cases- i, for one, am pickier than anyone i know perhaps). its how i've gotten by in a fraternity, and in life among straight men.


    I often get this response to my suggestion to make conversation. Saying hello is not hitting on someone. There is a way to approach anyone without it coming across in an "I'm interested" way. If you find a man attractive, aren't sure of his sexuality - as you've encountered him in a sexually neutral place, as in not at a gay place - you have to find some common point at which to start a conversation that isn't based on any attraction. For example, I was at the Hyde Park Kroger a few weeks ago and saw this really good looking guy using his cell phone. It just happened to be a cell phone I was curious about, so when we made eye contact and said Hi...I used the phone as the conversation starter. Mind you, it didn't go beyond that conversation. I couldn't tell if he were gay or not. Didn't matter. It was a pleasant conversation in a positive fashion. It's all about possibility.

    czarodziej saidbut the gay men on campus and in this city (around my age) who are likewise out and open are like this small community where everyone knows everyone else and they've all screwed each other- i've always held myself outside of that, and its drama, and once they realized in my freshman year that their fresh meat wasn't going to put out, they all left me alone. the gay friends i thought i had, upon realizing that they weren't getting in my pants, stopped calling to hang out.

    This is a tough one. It's a sad reality of gay life. Because men are men and thus often pigs. Even the nice guys. That no answer from above can be isolationist. But one has to soldier through, find new avenues, and engage new people. I'd wager that NONE of the advice offered so far in this thread comes with easy execution.
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    May 13, 2008 12:06 AM GMT
    I often get this response to my suggestion to make conversation. Saying hello is not hitting on someone. There is a way to approach anyone without it coming across in an "I'm interested" way. If you find a man attractive, aren't sure of his sexuality - as you've encountered him in a sexually neutral place, as in not at a gay place - you have to find some common point at which to start a conversation that isn't based on any attraction. For example, I was at the Hyde Park Kroger a few weeks ago and saw this really good looking guy using his cell phone. It just happened to be a cell phone I was curious about, so when we made eye contact and said Hi...I used the phone as the conversation starter. Mind you, it didn't go beyond that conversation. I couldn't tell if he were gay or not. Didn't matter. It was a pleasant conversation in a positive fashion. It's all about possibility.


    yeah but making pleasantly neutral conversation with straight men is easy. i have no problem doing that- i never said i just didn't talk to men in public lol. im in a fraternity- i have lots of guy friends, and i am not shy about approaching ppl and striking up conversation. its the knowing whether or not they're gay that matters here, in this thread lol, not the talking to random ppl. good advice though on all counts.
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    May 13, 2008 12:11 AM GMT
    czarodziej said
    its the knowing whether or not they're gay that matters here, in this thread lol, not the talking to random ppl. good advice though on all counts.


    But that's my point - don't worry about that part. If it's there and there's interest it will reveal itself. Can't worry it, can't force it, romance is a rare flower - far from endangered, but elusive and blooming only when it damned well pleases.

    I'm in my mid 30s and it's only struck me a couple of times (that are worth recalling, icon_lol.gif ) in my life.
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    May 13, 2008 1:07 AM GMT
    All great advice. I'll just add one more thing on the Midwest angle.

    I was born and spent half my life there there, including K-12 (suburban Detroit), undergrad (MSU), and grad school (U Wisc, Madison). While I'll always feel at home there and will always be proud to be a Midwesterner, I always wanted to move away. Why?

    It's conservatism and resistance to change. This has implications for gay life, which is still viewed differently on the whole in your average church-going Midwestern community that it is, in say, your average town in California or New York state.

    There's a good reason gay guys move to where other gay guys are (SF, LA, NYC, Chicago, Miami/Fl Laud, etc.). They want to kiss and hold their boyfriend's hand in public without dealing with the conservative freakouts.

    So while all the advice here in this thread is very true, I believe your point about the Midwest versus other areas has merit.

    My advice, if nothing else works: look at Chicago. An amazing city, and amazing gay community, and it's still the Midwest.

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    May 13, 2008 1:34 AM GMT
    iguanaSF saidAll great advice. I'll just add one more thing on the Midwest angle.

    So while all the advice here in this thread is very true, I believe your point about the Midwest versus other areas has merit.

    My advice, if nothing else works: look at Chicago. An amazing city, and amazing gay community, and it's still the Midwest.


    While I hear and partly agree with what you're saying - I say partly because we have to make change from the ground up, so if we all move we can't change a damned thing here - I will also point out that I've spent enough time in Chicago to feel that it isn't much different than Cincinnati. Just bigger and with a more defined gayborhood.

    If I were gonna move, it'd be to DC, ATL or Austin.
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    May 13, 2008 1:45 AM GMT
    "If I were gonna move, it'd be to DC, ATL or Austin."

    im from DC, or near by (Annapolis), and i can assure you its just as dismal- its overflowing with club trash and has the highest aids rate per-capita of the country. i'll be there all summer. i spent all last summer in ATL for an internship, and that sucked too- but probably mostly due to my being underage at the time, so i couldn't go out, and had no networking options due to everyone at the firm where i worked being much older than me. my experience of the gay men in ATL was pretty dismal though- the city is as conservative as Cincinnati, but in a smile-through-your-teeth-and-play-at-southern-hospitality kind of way. friends say, 'no, ATL's a gay mecca, how can it be conservative'- to which i reply, 'um, its in the bible belt.' you can be there and be gay and not worry about being lynched as in the surrounding countryside lol (an exaggeration, i know- kinda) but its still a tricky thing to be out and yourself in public or work.

    i think NYC is my best bet, or San Francisco, though i will likely end up in DC, and i really and truly hope to end up in Europe one day.
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    May 13, 2008 1:52 AM GMT
    FYI Runnin, I fully, not partly agree with you. Something as nebulous as why Czaritoons hasn't yet found his dreamboat (I will omit any comment regarding his tender age of 21), is going to be the result of a range of factors, including "change from the ground up", the Midwest itself, and a boatload of other things. So I can fully agree with you and myself at the same time.

    Just to be clear about my views of the Midwest: I always wanted to leave, even before I knew I was gay (it took me a long time to figure that one out). Being gay is just one aspect of the larger issue of resistance to change. It drove me crazy that everything which was "new" was looked at suspiciously -- that it was something for those wild folks on the two coasts to try out first. This was true for everything from food, clothes, lifestyles, world views, to say nothing of sexual preferences. It drove me crazy from the moment I could understand it.
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    May 13, 2008 2:03 AM GMT
    I would want to move to DC, ATL or elsewhere for many other reasons than the gay men there. That'd be factor...31 on my list of reasons why I'd pick a place to move to - but I can say I've had positive non-sexual gay...interactions/experiences/whatever you call it in DC, ATL and elsewhere (including NYC, SanFran, etc.) So...yeah.

    iguanaSF - I guess the attitudes here in Cincinnati don't bother me as much as others. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere. So for me the Nasty Nati isn't that bad.

    For the young man at the center of our discussion, I think another big part of it is about making patience a very good friend.